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For 28 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors
Planning and Implementation
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|“What We Do|
on Family Nights”
In our last issue we suggested that
a weekly "family night" was one of the best
things you can do with your children to
promote family unity and create a family
tradition that will be remembered and
cherished for years to come.
We also asked you to tell us what your
family does on family night. Following
are three answers we received.
For family night, which is every Friday
for us, we might play board games, card
games like Go Fish and the like, watch a
Disney or other wholesome film, or have
Whatever the activity, it's done
together. Sometimes our 8-year-old
daughter invites some of the kids from the
neighborhood to spend it with us, and they
seem to enjoy it as well.
If I have to do something else, which is
extremely rare because I let others know that
Friday is "Family Night" in our home, I get
my family's permission.
We simply love our family time together!
– Rosemary B.
Our "Family Home Evening," as we
call it, looks like this. We do:
Everybody gets a turn to be in charge of
something. We rotate the names on our
family home evening chart.
We invite family or friends and have
supper together before we start every Monday
It's also a good way to keep in touch with
family and special friends.
– Sharlyn R.
Just wanted to share what we do for
Ever since my husband was little, his
family always ate pizza and watched a movie
on Friday nights, and we have continued this
with our family, including Grandma and
I know, I know, it's not very educational
and doesn't have any variety, but what I love
is that every Friday night, we know
where we'll be. Everyone knows it's
Family Night, and that there's no getting out
of it. We all look forward to pizza,
ice cream, and family time, from the youngest
to the oldest!
I think it's so important to have times
like this that are not up for discussion, and
it ties kids close to home, especially in
those years where you really want to know
where they are on Friday nights.
In addition, we try to do a family date
once a month where the boys take turns
deciding what we'll do. Mini golf, baseball
at the park, a movie, bowling ... anything is
fair game and they love spending special time
with Mommy and especially Daddy, who works
and isn't home very much.
– Amy N.
Thanks, Rosemary, Sharlyn, and Amy,
for sharing with us!
We trust that you find this newsletter
informative and encouraging.
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copies in a notebook.
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|The Teaching Home|
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Much Too Old?
On my daughter's second birthday I asked
her if she knew how old she was. She
replied enthusiastically, "Two!"
Then she very sweetly asked, "How old are
you Mommy?" I told her I was 22.
She looked at me quite soberly, shaking
her head sadly, and replied, "Oh Mommy,
that's two too old."
Submitted by Shelly T.
Send your humorous anecdote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Because we have been separated from God by
sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then
rose to life again. If we trust Him as our
Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin and
give us eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whoever believes
in Him shall not perish, but have eternal
life." (John 3:16)
"For all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God." (Romans 3:23) "For
the wages of sin is death." (Romans
"He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to
death for our sins and was raised to life for
our justification." (Romans 4:25)
"But as many as received Him, to them He
gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name."
"For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the
gift of God; not as a result of works, that
no one should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,
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information.Copyright 2008 The Teaching Home
Back-to-Home-School, Part 4 of 4
Managing Your Time
A. Set Your School-Year
B. Plan Your Studies
C. Create Daily and Weekly
D. Tips To Keep Your
Schedule Moving Smoothly
• Hewitt's Lightning
Literature & Composition
• Birch Court Books
• NorthStar Home School and
• Beyond Phonics: Spelling,
Reading and Vocabulary
Planning and scheduling for the new school
year will get you off to a good start.
Just remember: Less is More!
your out-of-home activities.
the scheduled activities within your home.
This will enable you to do what you do
better and have a more relaxed and enjoyable
time doing it.
We hope that our suggestions in this
newsletter will give you practical direction
and encouragement to start this school year.
All the topics in our Back-to-Home-School
4-part series are taken from our Checklist
for Starting a School Year.
See parts 1-3 of our Back-to-Home-School
Series in our online Newsletter
May the Lord bless your family for His
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a home-school, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
A. Set Your School Year Schedule
Give your students college writing skills
Hewitt's Lightning Literature &
programs for Grades 7-12
plays, essays, autobiographies, short
stories, and poems are used to teach
analytical reading and composition skills.
High School Courses include American,
British Christian, Medieval, Shakespeare,
Speech, and World Literature.
Courses can be
purchased as packs with all the required
books, or the guides can be purchased
High Courses are available for grades 7
1. Determine Your School Year
Take into account the number of school
days or hours, if any, that you are required
to document according to your state law (see
Use a traditional schedule or set up your
own year-round schedule. These examples
all include the usual 180 school days.
Schedule: 9-month school year and 3-month
summer break. Includes 5 days per week,
with 3 weeks of break within the 9-month
school year, plus a 3-month summer break.
school week option: 36 weeks of school, with
16 weeks of breaks interspersed wherever you
school week option: 45 weeks of school, with
7 weeks of breaks interspersed wherever you
2. Create a Master Calendar
Keep a calendar, with large boxes to write
in, near the phone where everyone in your
family can see it.
Also use a planner to collect all of your
organizational information in one place.
Include goals, calendar, schedules, lists,
telephone directory, plus notes and
information your family needs to find easily.
Buy a planner that is all set up for you,
or use a large or small loose-leaf notebook
and make or buy pages for it.
Organized Home.com offers online articles
on how to create your own Household
Notebook planner and offers free
printable forms for your planner.
Mark both your master calendar and the one
in your planner with the following
school year schedule (see above) including
school days, vacations, dates of major units
of study, test days, field trips, and support
anniversaries, holidays, and special days.
of your family’s appointments, church
and social activities, music lessons, etc.
• Anything you
need to be reminded of, such as library due
dates (and number of books out) and
household bills (payment dates and amounts
Set family rules and procedures for
accepting invitations and scheduling
Check daily to see that you have
transferred necessary information from your
master calendar to your planner and vice
These practices will help your
family’s schedule to run
3. Make an Ongoing Master To-Do List
a master to-do list, a single continuous list
that replaces small slips of paper.
Assign individual’s names to items
items as you think of them; cross them off
when they are done (the fun part!).
items from this list to your calendar;
monthly, weekly, or daily schedules; or daily
to-do lists for each person.
B. Plan Your Studies
1. Set up Your Classes
Decide and list which subjects, units,
and/or topics you will cover during which
weeks or months to make an overall year's
For example, you could plan a certain
number of pages per day in math and language,
a chapter every two weeks in history and/or
Instead of teaching all of your subjects
every day, simplify your preparation and gain
from your students’ focus by teaching
fewer, but longer, classes each day.
You can retain the same number of hours of
study each day and cover the same amount of
material during the year. Examples:
language arts on two days and math on three
history for half the year and science for the
Take a break to stretch or exercise, get a
drink of water, and rest eyes at least once
an hour whether or not you choose longer
Combine Classes for Efficiency
Teaching several of your children together
the same topic at the same time can be the
most efficient use of your time and effort.
You can use the same materials for all and
adapt explanations and assignments for each,
or collect age-appropriate materials on the
topic for various levels. (See suggestions
For Each Course
Compile a syllabus (a broad course
outline, listing books, chapters, topics,
other materials, resources, major projects,
etc.) for each course or subject at the
beginning of the year. Add details,
rearrange order, and/or set assignment dates
monthly or weekly as you go along.
article by Joy Marie Dunlap on how to
design and document your own courses.
For Texts or Other Books
Decide approximately how many pages of a
textbook or other resource must be covered
each day or week in order to finish it in the
time you have allowed for it. You can
rough out a plan by dividing the number of
pages in a book you want to use by the number
of days or weeks you plan to study it.
for vacations, tests, and catch-up days.
• Textbook units
can be shifted to coincide with other planned
units, related events, or seasons.
target dates in your lesson plan book for
starting and ending each educational project
(i.e. subject, skill, textbook, chapter, or
unit) you plan to complete this year.
You may want to adjust your plan so that
chapters begin and/or end with calendar
out details of activities, assignments, or
projects you want to include, along with the
estimated time they will take. Link
these to the subjects, units, or textbook
pages they go with.
Lesson Plan Book
Record your plans in a lesson plan book or
notebook. This can double as a record-keeping
system by simply entering your completion
dates and adding or deleting items.
See “The Homeschooler’s
Journal” at www.fergnusservices.com.
Older students can become independent
learners in some subjects by reading and
checking off their assignments in their
lesson plan books.
2. Prepare in Advance
for Each Week and Each Day
Set aside a regular time each week to plan
in advance for the next week.
your daily school lessons. Consult your
overall academic plans and lesson planner.
your master calendar and to-do list.
Note and plan errands, phone calls, etc.
your week with your husband. Evaluate
and discuss anything that is bothering you
and consider how you can fix it.
Plan Your Day
Spend a few minutes the night before, or
early in the morning, looking over your plans
for the day and gathering materials for the
Register for NorthStar's Online Classes
To Give Your Jr. or Sr. High School Student
an Excellent Christian Education!
C. Create Daily and Weekly
Work out a time budget that reflects your
priorities. Follow the steps below to create
your regular daily and weekly
Step 1: List All Activities
List all the things your family needs or
wants to do, along with how often they are
done and how much time they take each
and personal devotions. Schedule your
own personal time with God in His Word and
prayer to prepare for your day before your
children get up.
grooming, chores, meals, and exercise.
work: each school class or regular
educational activity, reading aloud,
errands, meetings, projects, mail, paying
bills, planning sessions.
activities, relaxation, or entertainment.
Many children suffer from sleep
deprivation. For optimal health and
mental activity, it is generally
recommended that children get 9-11 hours
of sleep each night, even in the teen years.
Reserve Sundays for church, rest, family,
Limit the time your family spends on the
computer. This time can eat up your schedule
very quickly otherwise. Also keep your
computer in a family area in order to monitor
Step 2: Budget Your Time
Add up the total time per week for all the
activities on your list.
If your total is more than (or even close
to) the hours in a week, start re-evaluating,
prioritizing, trimming, or cutting out some
activities until you have a comfortable fit
and good balance.
extra time for slow-downs and transition time
to move from one activity to another.
Step 3: Make Daily and Weekly Schedules
Now you can plan your family’s daily
and weekly schedules to incorporate your
plans and goals.
Your time budget assures that urgent
demands don’t steal time from the
important things you want and need to do.
regular times for family meals, going to bed,
and getting up.
• Schedule a
normal week's activities (see list above).
Don’t schedule so tightly that a few
minutes here and there will throw everything
hopelessly off schedule.
time for unexpected events and opportunities.
a copy of your schedule where all can see
it. This is different from, and in
addition to, your master calendar and stays
the same every week, all year, or until you
decide to change it.
It's Not Too Late for Poor Spellers!
All your children can
now catch up or accelerate
Spelling, Fluent Reading
and Vocabulary quickly and painlessly
with character- building, phonics-based word
family stories for all ages.
Just one textbook covers grade levels 1-12;
remedial for all ages. Compatible with
all curricula and all learning styles.
Examples: ou of trouble
- "My young cousin Doug spent a
couple of weeks with us in the
ough of tough - "The hike was
rough, but I was tough enough
to finish ..." See
D. Tips To Keep Your
1. Time Tips
extra time for interruptions and emergencies.
a workable solution for avoidable
Do not answer the phone during school time
and let your friends and family know the best
time to call you.
Sign up for the National Do
Not Call Registry to block sales calls.
uncontrollable or unavoidable interruptions
and use them for learning opportunities.
Devise a "Plan B" for accomplishing the
most important things on days when your time
is limited by unexpected developments,
emergencies, late starts, etc. For example,
use audio or video resources, etc., such as
those from Sing 'n
• Remember that
your family is more important than your
all chores to be done daily, weekly, monthly,
and seasonally (see Period
Table of Cleaning).
a daily cleanup schedule
chores to each family member, considering
age, abilities, time commitments, and
your older children in life skills by
gradually turning over areas of
responsibility such as laundry, family meals
(menus, shopping, cooking), lawn maintenance,
or cleaning certain rooms.
a chore chart and be sure everyone knows
exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to
Opportunities Chart" from Doorposts will
help you simplify chore assignments and teach
your children biblical principles of work.
"7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through
Chores" in Newsletter
a place for everything (label shelves if
necessary; use pictures for non-readers) and
make sure everyone returns each item to its
place after each use.
See more suggestions in Newsletter
a week, plan seven menus and shop for
ingredients. You can then arrange the order
of your menus within the week, one day at a
time. See suggestions at organizedhome.com.
With experience, you may be able to plan
your seven meals on the spot as you're
shopping the sales to save money.
dinner early, use a crockpot,
and/or precook your meats on shopping day (or
the next day), or try once-a-month or freezer cooking, or some modification
of that system.
Rely on the Lord and do not become
discouraged as you seek to bring organization
and peace to your home.
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne
that we may obtain
and find grace to
help in time of need."